“Mega Tuesday” is March 15th, and many experts are dubbing it “the most decisive day” of the primary season. After Trump furthered his lead to 100 delegates ahead of the rest of the Republican candidates last weekend, and Bernie continues to surprise Democrats by clawing his way through the Democratic race, the massive amount of delegates that will be doled out this Tuesday is set make or break a number of campaigns. Here’s what you can expect.
GOTTA’ CATCH ‘EM ALL
The Republican contenders are competing for 367 delegates in 6 states. This is the second highest number of delegates given out in one day of this election season, only surpassed by the 595 delegates given out on Super Tuesday. A Republican contender on track for victory will have earned 719 delegates by the end of tomorrow, according to FiveThirtyEight. This is only attainable for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Both states possess large amounts of delegates (99 and 66), and are home to Trump-competitors (Rubio and Kasich). Both Rubio and Kasich have indicated they may drop out if they lose their home states, but on the flip side, wins in either could complicate Trump’s ability to get the majority of delegates he needs for the nomination.
New Rules Mean That Many States Will Be ‘Winner-Take-All’ Starting Tomorrow, Including Florida And Ohio
After 2012, the Republican Party established new rules that would accelerate the primary process, one of which cut the period of time in which states could give out delegates out proportionally. Starting tomorrow, many states are “winner-take-all” — meaning the winner of that state will receive all of the state’s delegates. A change that will exaggerate, and expedite the results from here on out.
Right now, Kasich either leads or ties Trump in Ohio; a CBS News Battleground Tracker poll out Sunday found the two men in a dead heat at 33 percent each. Florida polling, on the other hand, gives Trump a double-digit lead: the CBS Battleground poll out of Florida put him at 44 percent, compared with 24 percent for Cruz and 21 percent for Rubio.
REVENGE OF FLYOVER COUNTRY
Last week, Bernie Sanders pulled off a stunning upset when he won the Michigan primary against all indications. While Hillary still won the night, taking more delegates and furthering her lead, the unpredicted results in Michigan left Sanders hopeful and confident that he can replicate them in Illinois, Missouri And Ohio this week.
New Polls indicate tight races in the midwestern states, which Bernie Sanders is now targeting after last week’s surprise Michigan win. With a total of 412 midwestern delegates ripe for the taking on Tuesday, these states could change the game for Sanders.
Mr. Sanders had a 1-point, 47 percent to 46 percent, lead over Mrs. Clinton in Missouri, according to polling released Monday by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling. Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, had a 5-point lead in Ohio, 46 percent to 41 percent, and a 3-point lead in Illinois, 48 percent to 45 percent.
Politico notes that Florida and North Carolina are all but in the bag for Secretary Clinton.
Most polls give Clinton the clear advantage. A recent Mason-Dixon/Ledger/WTSP poll found Clinton leading Sanders 68 percent to 23 percent.
North Carolina figures to be unfriendly ground for Sanders: It’s a Southern state with a large African-American population. Democratic operatives and top officials in the state say they don’t see the conditions necessary for Sanders to pull off an upset.